More NZ firefighters to help battle Victorian bushfire

An extra twenty-two New Zealand firefighters will leave for Australia today to help combat the ongoing bush fires in coastal Victoria.

The first lot of firefighters left on January 2 for the popular tourist town of Lorne, 150 kilometres southwest of Melbourne.

The latest group includes firefighters from Auckland, Rotorua, Whakatane, the West Coast and Invercargill. 

National Rural Fire Officer Kevin O'Connor says crews who are already in Australia are making good progress building containment lines around the fires. They are still burning on a 40-kilometer front around Victoria's southwest coast.

O'Connor says the fire danger in the area remains very high.

The Kiwi firefighters are expected to be in Australia for three weeks. That time could extend depending on the conditions.

The crew leave from Auckland and Wellington this afternoon.